Last March the New York Times reported that Kmart and Sears were suffering in the face of online retail, as well as being unfortunately located in older neighborhoods and malls. And now both retailers including Macy’s will be closing more locations across the country due to the ongoing retail apocalypse.
NPR reports that on January 4 the Sears Holdings Corp. announced it would be closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores, mostly in the Midwest or East Coast, while continuing to shut down “unprofitable stores.” Macy’s also announced they would be closing 11 locations this year, one piece of a larger plan to close 100 stores total in the next few years.
The so-called retail apocalypse, which led to 8,000 bankruptcies and store closings across retailers last year, is the result of several different problems: a rise in fast fashion, consumers opting for “experiences” over objects, and of course easy online shopping is pulling people away from malls and brick and mortar stores in general. And as someone who likes to buy things in person, especially clothes, I rue the day when the only way to obtain even basic items (produce? life saving medicine?!) will be through a computer screen.
You might soon find yourself “personally touched by the retail apocalypse,” like my colleague Kelly Stout did while trying to find an item called “Musher’s Secret” (which she explained “protects dogs’ paws, anuses, and elbows from cold weather” completely unprompted) at your local PHYSICAL retailer, only to be told to “go online.” How rude!